The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is gathering input from experts around the globe to complete a new cycle of assessments for the IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3. This flagship IUCN report on natural World Heritage will be published in 2020, together with assessments for some 250 natural World Heritage sites.
The IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3, an update of two previous IUCN Outlook reports issued in 2014 and 2017, will assess changes in the conservation prospects of all natural World Heritage sites. World Heritage practitioners can support the 2020 update by contributing knowledge of a particular site.
The IUCN World Heritage Outlook consists of “Conservation Outlook Assessments” – in-depth, independent assessments for each natural World Heritage site based on best available data from a wide range of sources. These assess the threats affecting a site, the effectiveness of its protection and management, and the state and trends of its World Heritage values – the unique features for which it is World Heritage-listed.
The IUCN World Heritage Outlook’s global report draws on these assessments to compile analyses of key trends and issues for natural heritage. The IUCN World Heritage Outlook 2 published in November 2017 revealed that climate change is the fastest growing threat to natural World Heritage.
The coming months will see hundreds of World Heritage experts take part in a consultation and review process. This will ensure the Conservation Outlook Assessments are as accurate as possible and identify the most pressing issues facing natural World Heritage sites.
IUCN is gathering input from government agencies, World Heritage site managers, park authorities, non-governmental organisations, community groups, international agencies, academic researchers, as well as from IUCN’s networks of experts such as the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and the IUCN Species Survival Commission.
Given their high level of recognition, World Heritage sites should be models of conservation and have a good conservation outlook in the face of global challenges. Their conservation outlook thus serves as a litmus test of the success of protected areas worldwide. The IUCN World Heritage Outlook helps to determine whether conservation prospects are improving or deteriorating for these flagship protected areas.
Experts interested in taking part in the 2020 update of the IUCN World Heritage Outlook can contact IUCN’s World Heritage Programme at [email protected].
IUCN is presenting its work on the IUCN World Heritage Outlook during a side event at UNESCO's 43rd World Heritage Committee meeting, currently taking in place in Baku, Azerbaijan.